The dominate theme for this week’s North Korean news was the celebration of Military-First Day. There were also continuing reports on the results of soccer matches from the championship tournament that began the week prior. Some newer stories from this week focused on construction projects; featuring a bridge that will connect the North Korean city of Shinuiju with the Chinese city Dandong and new housing developments in Pyongyang.
Amnok Bridge Construction
A new story that appeared this week described progression in the construction of the Amnok Bridge that connects Dandong in China and Shinuiju in North Korea. The Amnok Bridge is a joint project between both nations though China has been managing the project. NK News produced a small feature piece on the same bridge several months ago, it can be found here.
– Construction on the joint DPRK-PRC Amnok Bridge continues to progress, the bridge is now 75 percent complete. Efforts to jointly construct, maintain and protect the bridge have progressed according to plan. Specifics of the bridge are described, including measurements etc. Video shows the bridge in its current state of development. ( 1 min. 29 sec. )
This week North Koreans marked the 53rd anniversary of Songun’s creation with Military-First Day on August 25. Songun is a key part of Kim Jong Il’s legacy and this week his son and chosen heir proclaimed that North Korea would continue to follow his father’s policy. The KCNA reported on a wide array of festivities leading up to Military-First Day. Most of which included the customary gifting of bouquets and visiting significant historical sites and monuments. There was also special emphasis on a new document purportedly authored by Kim Jong Un, that asked the North Korean people to uphold his father’s policy of Songun as well as citizen’s reactions to this revolutionary piece of scholarship.
– Leaders of the party, chief functionaries of the state, armed forces, working people’s organizations, various ministries and central organizations gathered at Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on August 25 to pay their respects to Kim Jong Il on the 53 anniversary of Military-First Day. Soldiers and civilians in Pyongyang spent the day visiting the “most sacred place of juche” to honor Kim Jong Il. Video shows people leaving flowers at the statues of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il on Mansudae Hill, the Ministry of People’s Armed Forces, Mansudae Art Studio and other places. ( 14 min. 7 sec. )
– The Song and Dance Ensemble of the KPA puts on a performance called “Shine Forever, the Day of Songun” at the April 25 House of Culture to commemorate Military-First Day. Video shows part of the performance. ( 1 min. 29 sec. )
– Kim Jong Un releases a press statement in the Rodong Shinmun and the Chosun Inmingun, the military’s edition of the newspaper, on August 25. The statement is titled “Let Us Forever Glorify Comrade Kim Jong Il’s Great Idea and Achievements of the Military-First Revolution.” In the statement, Kim Jong Un praises his father’s achievements in military-first leadership and stresses the originality and essence of military-first ideology.
– Four officers of the Korean People’s Army express overwhelming emotions and excitement after receiving Kim Jong Un’s most recent work, “Let Us Glorify Comrade Kim Jong Il’s Great Idea and Achievements of the Military-First Revolution Forever.” Vides shows the interviews and the published article in the Rodong Shinmun. ( 4 min. 20 sec. )
New Houses in Pyongyang
Citizens of Pyongyang were featured this week in several reports regarding the development of new homes for scientists. Solider-builders were said to have worked tirelessly alongside workers to complete the project. The development of residential houses was mentioned along side other constructions projects in Pyongyang.
– A project to build new residences for scientists on the outskirts of Pyongyang is nearly completion, thanks to the efforts of soldier-builders and construction workers. Vice chief of staff of the Ryu Kyong Construction Guidance Bureau Kim Song Nam and Hwang Yu Nam speak about the projects progression. Video shows the interviews and people working at the construction site. ( 1 min. 58 sec. )
– Soldier-builders involved with the project to build new residences for scientists are reflecting on Kim Jong Un’s immortal work that calls for eternal glorification of Kim Jong Il’s military-first idea. Choe Yong Min and Kim Kum Song describe how they felt as participants in the construction project. ( 1 min. 36 sec. )
– The construction project to build new homes for scientists on the edge of Pyongyang enters its final stage. The new local is filled with economic agitation. There are other construction projects to be completed as well, including the building of amusement grounds. Video shows construction work. ( 0 min. 50 sec. )
As usual, international stories selected by the KCNA this week made note of disasters around the world brought on by natural causes. This week also included mention of domestic South Korean opposition to the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian military drills. More interestingly however, the KCNA chose to report on the development of a new mobile application for determining the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood stream and the declassification of Area 51.
– 16,000 acres of forests have been lost due to a massive fire that has been tearing through Southern California in the United States. The fires have caused tremendous damage and left many people wounded. Vides shows scenes of the fire. ( 0 min. 24 sec. )
– On August 19, a variety of South Korean civic groups, including the Solidarity for Peace and Reunification of Korea, gathered in front of a U.S. military base in Yongsan to protest the Ulchi-Freedom Guardian military exercises. The groups called the joint U.S. and South Korean exercise “an obvious exercise for an attack aiming at northward aggression.” The group moved to Bosingak afterwards to continue their protest. Vides shows people holding the demonstration. ( 0 min. 57 sec. )
– A leader of the South Korean Unified Progressive Party denounces the Ulchi-Freedom joint military exercise on August 19. The political also called for the exercises to cease saying they were counterintuitive to achieving peace on the Korean Peninsula. Gist cited. ( 0 min. 45 sec. )
– A new mobile application that allows the user to detect the amount of alcohol in one’s body by looking at their eye was created by college students in an unspecified country. Video shows a person using the application to take a picture of another person’s eye. ( 0 min. 30 sec. )
– CNN reports that the CIA reveals the true nature of “Area 51” for the first time. Area 51 is said to be a special secreted based, which is located about 200 km away from Las Vegas, Nevada in the United States.
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